Meet the Carnivore Keeper: Maicie Sykes from Lake Superior Zoo

Maice Sykes, Carnivore Keeper at the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth, MN. Copyright Lake Superior Zoo.

Maice Sykes, Carnivore Keeper at the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth, MN. Copyright Lake Superior Zoo.

Describe your job: Daily care of the Zoo’s carnivores including brown bears, polar bear, harbor seals, North American river otters, Amur tiger, African lions, snow leopard, siberian lynx, puma, gray wolves, snowy owl, great-horned owl, and silver foxes. Care includes cleaning, feeding, animal training, and enrichment. In addition to animal care, I often interact with the public through educational keeper chats.

How long have you been in the position? In a zoo keeping capacity for 2 1/2 years.

What in your background helped you get the job? Working in biological laboratories through and after college with some animal care responsibilities and volunteer experience at animal facilities.

What’s your favorite thing about job? I love seeing advancements in my animal training and providing real and fulfilling enrichment to the animals.

Describe a favorite memory/experience in your current position: Discovering that after two years of teamwork, dedication, and hard labor, the zoo had regained its accreditation. It makes me feel immense pride in myself and our facility. Everyday brings me something that makes me love my job all over again.

Do you have a favorite animal? Why is it your favorite? I have favorite animals for different reasons. I love Berlin, the polar bear, and the river otters, Helen and Otto, because they are great to train. Max, the cougar, is one of the sweetest animals I’ve met and Phoebe, the Kodiak bear, makes me laugh.

Elise Waugh

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